Arutz Sheva visited on Monday the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s
press conference, in which it launched the updated and expanded
Einstein Archives website, which contains a complete catalog of more
than 80,000 documents in the University’s Einstein Archives.
The archive includes more than 40,000 documents contained in Albert
Einstein’s personal papers and over 30,000 additional Einstein and
Einstein-related documents discovered, since the 1980s, by the
Einstein Archives staff and the editors of The Collected Papers of
“Einstein was very involved in Jewish projects after he moved to
Berlin, and his involvement became stronger and stronger over the
years,” said Dr. Ronny Gross, Curator of Einstein Archives. “He
became very interested in the political situation in the Middle East.
He advocated that Jews and Arabs should live in a combined state, and
in 1947 he was against an independent Jewish state, but this changed
in 1948 during the War of Independence, when he saw that the Arabs
were preparing for war and that there would be no possibility for one
state for Jews and Arabs.”
He noted the Einstein identified with the Jewish people only in his
“A fact that is not well-known is that in the late 1930s, when Jews
were discriminated against and were endangered in Europe and Einstein
had already been in America, he helped quite a few Jews, especially
from the scientific community, escape Nazi Germany,” said Gross.
Gross said that Einstein was a pacifist all his life but became
concerned when he believed, in 1939, that Nazi Germany would be
developing a nuclear weapon. This prompted him to send a letter to
then-U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, telling him that America
should develop a similar weapon in order to defeat the Nazis.
“Of course, it turned out in hindsight that the Nazis were far from a
nuclear bomb, but it was impossible to know that at the time,” said
Gross. “He was very sorry that his support of nuclear research
resulted in the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but in 1939 he
was really concerned that the Nazis would win the war with a nuclear